Every summer my refrigerator is filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, especially cabbage. Cabbage makes a great addition to almost any meal because of its versatility and ability to be flavored in a variety of ways. During the winter months, I love to use cabbage in my soups and stews. During the spring and summer, fresh cabbage makes a great coleslaw or side to grilled chicken. Let’s learn the best ways to freeze cooked cabbage together.
However, as much as I love cabbage, it only lasts in the refrigerator for a few days. After that, it becomes a wilted mess that no one in my family wants to eat. I always like to stock up on dishes that use cooked cabbage, but no one wants to eat cabbage dishes every night. This led me to the question, can you freeze cooked cabbage? And if you can, how do you thaw and use frozen cooked cabbage?
How Do You Freeze Cooked Cabbage?
Before we learn the best ways to freeze cooked cabbage, let’s talk about your experience. If you have a ton of leftover cabbage in your fridge, don’t let it go to waste. Cooked cabbage can usually only be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. If you do not use an airtight container, the shelf life will be even shorter. Instead, try freezing it!
The only catch is that the cabbage must be cooked first. Cabbage leaves are extremely frail, so if they become frozen, they will break apart and become unusable. Frozen cooked cabbage can be kept in the freezer for several months. This is a great solution for anyone who has an abundant amount of cabbage leftover in the refrigerator or anyone who wants to stock up on fresh cabbage for the winter months.
If you already have made a batch of cooked cabbage, the freezing process is fairly simple. Just separate the cooked cabbage into portion sizes and place them in an airtight container or baggy. If you place them in a baggy, try to remove as much air as possible. Then, just place the cooked cabbage in the freezer and you are good to go!
How Do You Freeze Raw Cabbage?
If you have raw cabbage heads, you will need to go through an extra step known as blanching. Follow these simple steps to learn how to blanch your cabbage:
- First, remove the outer leaves of the cabbage. Then, wash and dry your cabbage. This will remove any excess dirt or grime on the vegetable.
- Divide your cabbage into sections by slicing them into wedges or shredding them. If you decide to cut the cabbage into wedges, make sure you do not cut into the core. Otherwise, the cabbage will likely fall apart.
- Fill a large pot with water and place it on the stove. Then, turn on the heat to a medium-high temperature setting and bring the water to a boil.
- Once the water is boiling, you can add your cabbage. This will start the process known as blanching. Blanching will remove any bacteria or enzymes and will ensure that your cabbage does not break down in the freezer.
- If you are blanching cabbage wedges, let them boil for 2 to 3 minutes. If you are blanching shredded cabbage, they will only need to boil for 1 to 1.5 minutes.
- Once the cabbage is finished boiling, immediately place them in a bowl of ice water. After the cabbage has become completely cooled, remove it from the water and place it on a towel to dry. You need to make sure the cabbage is completely dry, otherwise, you risk your cabbage becoming freezer burned.
- After the cabbage is completely dry, you can place it into an airtight container or baggy. Then, you can place it in the freezer for several months.
How Do You Use Frozen Cooked Cabbage?
Once you are ready to use your frozen cooked cabbage, you will need to first remove the cabbage from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator to thaw. However, if you plan on using the cabbage in a soup or a stew, you can skip the thawing step and throw the cabbage directly into the soup. The process of cooking the soup will thaw the cabbage for you.
You should never thaw frozen cooked cabbage in the microwave or at room temperature. If you do this, your cabbage will most likely become wilted and soggy. If you plan on using your frozen cooked cabbage, it is best to prepare in advance. The cabbage will need at least 3 to 4 hours to thaw in the refrigerator, or overnight. By placing the frozen cabbage in the refrigerator, you are allowing it to slowly thaw out, which will ensure that the cabbage maintains its yummy and crunchy texture.
If cooked cabbage is left out for more than two hours, it needs to be discarded. An easy way to tell whether or not your cabbage is still fresh is by smelling it. If it does not have a fresh-smelling scent, or if it smells a little rotten, the safest option is to just throw it away, rather than risk eating dangerous bacteria.
Now that you know you can freeze cooked cabbage, you can feel free to run to your local farmer’s market and buy as much of it as you want! Right before summer ends, I love to stock up on locally grown cabbage that I can freeze for use later in the year. The blanching process is extremely simple and does not take up very much of your time.
Not only are cabbages a delicious addition to your meals, they are also extremely nutritious. Cabbages are filled with iron, protein, and multiple vitamins. Additionally, there are different types of cabbages that you can choose from based on your taste preference, including green cabbage, bok choy, and red cabbage. Each type of cabbage comes with its own nutritional benefits and unique taste. And best of all? No matter which cabbage you choose, they can all be placed in the freezer to be used at a later time. So, in this article, we tried to learn the best ways to freeze cooked cabbage together.